Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8488971
Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 1993 Apr;17(2):295-8
The efficacy of full vaccination against hepatitis B virus (i.e., including the 1-year booster injection) was evaluated in 28 alcoholic patients with minimal liver disease. Although such patients are reportedly poor responders, the proportion of those protected (anti-HBs titer > = 10 mlU/ml) rose from 42.8% after primary immunization to 82% after the booster. The mean anti-HBs titer, which remained low in the overall group, was significantly lower in the subjects who resumed drinking during the follow-up period than in those who did not. This suggests a direct influence of alcohol itself on the response, because none of our patients had cirrhosis and none were clearly malnourished. Among the 17 patients for whom the 2-year post-booster anti-HBs titer could be determined, all those with a 1-month postbooster titer above 1000 mlU/ml still had a high anti-HBs level (> 100), whereas 80% of those with a 1-month postbooster titer < 1000 had 2 years later only a low (< 100) or even an unprotective anti-HBs level; this means that only the latter should be considered for a new booster injection. Our data indicate that protection against hepatitis B virus can be achieved in a good proportion of alcoholics with a full vaccination protocol. We suggest that efficacy should be evaluated 1 month after the booster, and that patients with low postbooster anti-HBs titers should be tested at regular intervals, because they can also be protected provided an adapted schedule of further injections is conducted.